Physical or close contact jobs

Workers and workplaces where physical distancing is not possible – or where people may be more likely to come into contact with infected material – may benefit from additional steps to help protect against the potential spread of COVID-19.

Handling infected materials

It is crucial that workers who handle potentially infected material – such as laundry or used tissues – wash their hands regularly, and avoiding touching their faces.

Close contact for essential workers

  • If you can ensure more than 2-metres distance from people with potential COVID-19 symptoms and any surfaces or items they may touch –  facemasks and gloves are not recommended.
  • If the nature of your job means you may touch surfaces or items also touched by people with potential COVID-19 symptoms, you may consider wearing gloves, however, facemasks are still not recommended.
  • If you may be unable to maintain more than 2-metres contact distance from people with potential COVID-19 symptoms, facemasks and gloves are recommended when this contact is likely to occur.

In all situations, regular handwashing should continue.

These recommendations are a guide only and workplace settings should consider their ability to maintain the 2-metre rule. In general, surgical/medical masks prevent the dispersal of droplets by an infected patient and the inhalation of droplets if within 2 metres of a coughing individual.

If a customer or employee shows signs of being unwell such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should be politely encouraged to leave as soon as possible and to seek help by calling their GP (doctor) or call Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453.

More information on the use of facemasks and PPE(external link)

Find out about workplace best practice

Informational posters

PPE guidance for community care providers A4 poster [PDF, 201 KB]

Putting on and taking off PPE A4 poster [PDF, 439 KB]

PPE requirements for essential-non-health workers A4 poster [PDF, 181 KB]

PPE for nasopharyngeal testing A4 poster [PDF, 179 KB]

PPE for staff caring for positive patients in hospital A4 poster [PDF, 184 KB]

Additional resources

Information about workplace responses to COVID-19 at the website(external link)

Information update about COVID-19 at the website(external link)

Business information relating to COVID-19, how it may affect your business and how you can stay up to date on the website(external link)

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